Best Anti Wrinkle Cream and Anti Wrinkle Serums

Written by: Dr. Leslie Baumann



Time to read 10 min

As a board-certified dermatologist, skin care expert, and author of many skin care books, one of the most frequent questions I receive from patients is “What is the best and most effective anti-wrinkle cream on the market?

Wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging skin are a completely natural part of growing older. However, there are targeted antiwrinkle skincare ingredients and formulations that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and maintain a more youthful, smooth complexion.

In this comprehensive blog post, I’ll discuss in detail how anti-wrinkle creams work, key ingredients to look for, when to start using them, application tips, and provide my top antiwrinkle cream and serum product recommendations.


The best way to find the perfect anti wrinkle cream is to take our skin type quiz and see which medical grade antiwrinkle creams and serums are best for your Baumann Skin Type.

The 5 Best Anti Wrinkle Creams

The best antiwrinkle cream depends on your skin's unique concerns. All skin types need sunscreen which is really the best antiwrinkle skincare product. Most of the Baumann Skin Types need retinoids. In your 20s you need creams that prevent wrinkles.  In your 30s you need creams that are stronger at preventing wrinkles.  By your 40s you need antiwrinkle creams that target any wrinkles you have. 

In your 50s, if you are a woman, you need to start counteracting the effects of menopause.

Regardless of your age, you need to match your skin care routine to your Baumann Skin Type to find the best antiwrinkle creams for your skin type.  Below are some generalizations about good antiwrinkle creams but you will receive custom advice by email once you take the skin type quiz.

best face creams for wrinkles

Best Face Creams for Wrinkles

These are best wrinkle creams on the market but they are not right for every skin type.  For example; sensitive skin types and dry skin types may not be able to tolerate the same strong anti wrinkle creams as resistant skin types.  This doesn't include antiwrinkle creams that contain retinol, these can be applied after a retinol serum.

  1. Revision DEJ  Night Face  Cream
  2. Sente Even Tone Retinol Cream
  3. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 Refining + Anti-Aging Night Cream
  4. Zerafite Wrinkle Defense Barrier Cream

These are also very potent anti-wrinkle creams and serum with retinol:

5 Best Anti Wrinkle Serums

It does not matter if you chose a wrinkle cream or a serum.  Oily skin types will prefer a serum.  Dry skin types can layer a moisturizer over a serum.

These are the 5 Strongest Antiwrinkle Serums.  They contain high strength retinol.

  1. Essopi Retinol Treatment Serum 10x
  2. Jan Marini Age Intervention Retinol PLUS MD
  3. Replenix Retinol 10x Regenerate Dry Serum
  4. Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 1.0
  5. SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0
Best retinol alternative anti-wrinkle creams

Best Retinol Alternative Anti Wrinkle Creams and Serums

You may not want a retinol- especially if you have sensitive skin and get retinoid side effects. Here are the 5 best antiaging retinol alternatives:

  1. Biopelle Tensage Soothing Cream Moisturizer with snail mucin
  2. Emepelle Night Cream for women of perimenopause or menopause age
  3. ISDIN Age Contour Night- has antioxidants and peptides for dry, sensitive skin types.
  4. Plated SkinScience Intense Serum with exosomes- for all skin types
  5. Skinmedica TNS Advanced+ Serum with growth factors

Here are more antiaging retinol alternatives:

Antiwrinkle Creams and Serums for Menopausal Women

Menopausal women have less estrogen unless they are on hormone replacement therapy. Low estrogen leads to rapid loss of collagen. I recommend retinol to my menopausal patients.  Here are some more antiaging serums designed specifically to treat menopausal aging skin:

  1. Emepelle Night Cream for women of perimenopause or menopause age with dry skin.
  2. Emepelle Serum- for oily skin or if you want to layer a cream over a serum.
  3. Sente Dermal Repair Ultra- Nourish Cream- layer this over one of the Emepelle products in the am and a retinol at night.
  4. Zerafite Wrinkle Defense Barrier- This is the best heavy moisturizer with antiaging ingredients.  Use this with a retinol at nigh and alone in the morning or over an antiaging serum that is right for your Baumann Skin Type.

Most menopausal women have dry skin but take the quiz to see if you also need to treat inflammation or hyperpigmentation.

Best Wrinkle Creams and Serums for Men

Obviously men do not need antiaging creams with estrogen or ingredients that target estrogen receptors.  Mean also prefer products that do not have a feminine fragrance.  The best antiwrinkle cream for men depends on your Baumann Skin Type.

 Here are 11 good wrinkle creams and serums for men:

  1. Essopi Retinol Treatment Serum 3x with retinol. Retinol is the best antiaging ingredient. Good for acne prone skin and oily skin types. Use this at night only.
  2. La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Treatment Intensive - This also has retinol. It is good for resistant and oily skin types to improve dark spots and acne in addition to targeting fine lines and wrinkles. Use this at night only.
  3. Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex- With peptides and Vitamin C. Good for sensitive skin. This can be used 2 times a day or paired with a retinol at night like Revision DEJ Night Face Cream.
  4. Zerafite Wrinkle Defense Barrier- This is the best heavy moisturizer that preserves the moisture barrier and has antiaging ingredients and ingredients to protect skin from pollution.
  5. Alastin Restorative Skin Complex-Has peptides that temporarily firm skin. This is a very moisturizing product for those who cannot tolerate retinol. Or this can be used in the am regimen and a retinol at night.
  6. Defenage 8-in-1 Bioserum- This serum is easy to tolerate unless you are allergic to niacinamide.  It smooths the skin and improves the overall appearance.  You will see a difference in 3-4 weeks but the results are only temporary and go away when you stop using this. Very good to even skin tone if used with other skin lightening products.
  7. Medature Encapsulated Retinol Serum- This gentle retinol serum can be used by both oily and dry skin types and even those with sensitive skin.  If you have a lot of facial redness, use this every third night until you get used to it.
  8. Plated SkinScience Intense Serum With exosomes that contain cell signals to boost collagen and make skin look younger.  In my patients, I see a difference in their skin as early as 2 weeks when they use this antiwrinkle serum.  This can be paired with Vitamin C and retinoids for maximum antiaging effects.
  9. Skinceuticals C+ AHA- Best for resistant skin types that can tolerate a low pH. Both the Vitamin C and the AHA boost collagen production. Although here are some short term benefits with this serum, most of the benefits are long term but it may take 3-6 months to see a difference. Be careful if you also use a retinol because both are exfoliators and this can irritate the skin. 
  10. Sente Dermal Repair Cream - This is full of  humectants like heparan sulfate, glycerin and glucosamine that plump and hydrate the skin. It also has peptides that coat the skin and feels soothing after shaving. This light moisturizing serum rapidly and temporarily firms the skin. The heparan sulfate helps other antiaging ingredients work better. I recommend using this in your am skin care routine to give your skin a dewy smooth look during the day.  Pair it with a retinoid at night such as the Sente Even Tone Retinol Cream.
  11. Neocutis Bio Gel Firme Moisturizing hydrogel-This is one of my favorite antiaging serums for men because it is fragrance free and does not have any ingredients that increase estrogenic effects in the skin.  It has both growth factors and peptides.  Use this over one of the retinols on this list at night.
best antiwrinkle eye creams and serums

Best Antiwrinkle Eye Creams and Serums

The best eye creams to treat wrinkles have combinations of antioxidants, peptides, glycosaminoglycans and sometimes retinol.

Here are the 5 best medical grade antiwrinkle eye creams and serums:

  1. Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment- has niacinamide to help with dark circles and to soothe sensitive skin.
  2. Emepelle Eye Cream- this is the best anti wrinkle eye cream for perimenopausal or menopausal women.
  3. Medature Luxurious Repair Eye Cream this eye cream repairs the moisture barrier and shows the malltese cross pattern under the microscope. This is wonderful for dry skin around the eyes or to protect delicate eye skin from antiaging serums and acne medications.
  4. Neocutis LUMIERE FIRM RICHE Extra Moisturizing Illuminating & Tightening Eye Cream is a retinol free eye cream with caffeine to help reduce puffiness and give antioxidant benefits.
  5. SENTE Illumine Eye Cream has hydroxyacids that with time will smooth fine lines.  This is not good for rosacea prone and stinging skin types.

How Anti-Wrinkle Creams Work

 Many antiwrinkle products that say they have “Rapid Wrinkle Repair” actually use humectants to temporarily plump out fine lines and wrinkles. In this blog, I will not be talking much about humectants that give temporarily results.  Instead I will focus on antiwrinkle serums and creams that help prevent and remove wrinkles permanently.

First, let’s overview the main mechanisms by which the best wrinkle creams counteract signs of facial aging. 

good antiwrinkle creams stimulate collagen synthesis

Good Antiwrinkle Creams Stimulate Collagen Synthesis

Collagen provides the foundation for the skin’s structure. As we age, collagen synthesis in the dermal layer declines starting in our late 20s. The loss of collagen leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and skin laxity. Key ingredients in anti-wrinkle creams like retinoids, peptides, and growth factors help ramp up collagen production in aging skin.

Antiwrinkle Products that Restore Collagen

Restoring collagen in the face is the most important way to target wrinkles. These are the ingredients and products that increase skin collagen.

Retinoids have the most evidence-based data on getting rid of wrinkles. The science of how retinoids erase wrinkles is very well understood.  you can learn more about  the science of how retinoids work here.

These are the best retinol creams and serums for beginners.

Vitamin C , when absorbed properly, also has lots of research studies to show that it increases collagen.

anti-wrinkle products that fight free radicals

Antiwrinkle Products that Fight Free Radicals

Daily exposure to free radicals from UV radiation, pollution, smoke, and other sources degrade collagen over time. Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea extract, and coenzyme Q10 provide critical free radical defense to help maintain collagen.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation triggered by factors like sun exposure and autoimmune reactions can break down collagen. Certain natural extracts and actives like licorice root, bisabolol, and niacinamide have anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe skin inflammation.

Hydrate the Skin

Hyaluronic acid and other humectants attract and bind moisture in the skin. This hydration supports collagen matrices and gives the skin a plumper, more youthful appearance. Emollients like shea butter also repair and protect the skin moisture barrier.

hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic Acid Serums

HA serums are the fastest way to get erase wrinkles but these antiaging benefits are temporary and are only due to increased water in the skin.  Injected HA can hydrate skin by increasing aquaporin activity, but topical HA in serums and creams does not do this.

Dermatologist Leslie Baumann in Miami
Level up your skin care knowledge with medical advice from dermatologists

Is hyaluronic acid good in an antiwrinkle cream?

HA is a humectant that immediately plumps out fine lines and wrinkles. But this antiaging benefit only lasts 1-2 days so it is really not a good wrinkle serum or cream. Use HA with a good antiwrinkle cream to help it absorb better.

What is the best wrinkle cream on the market?

It depends on which Baumann Skin Type you are. Just because a wrinkle cream is a bestselling wrinkle cream does not mean it is right for you.

What is the best wrinkle cream that works?

Sunscreen is the best antiwrinkle cream. Retinoids are the 2nd best and Vitamin C serums are the 3rd best topical wrinkle treatment.

Best References and Scientific Publications on anti wrinkle creams

  1. Baumann L. Antiaging Ingredients in Ch. 37 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
  2. Baumann, L. Ch.  Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (McGraw Hill 2015)
  3. Mukherjee, S., Date, A., Patravale, V., Korting, H. C., Roeder, A., & Weindl, G. (2006). Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clinical interventions in aging, 1(4), 327-348.
  4. Baumann, L. (2018). How to use oral and topical cosmeceuticals to prevent and treat skin aging. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics, 26(4), 407-413.
  5. Baumann, L. (2007). Skin ageing and its treatment. The Journal of Pathology: A Journal of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 211(2), 241-251.
  6. Baumann, L. (2005). A dermatologist’s opinion on hormone therapy and skin aging. Fertility and Sterility, 84(2), 289-290.
  7. Kawada, A., Konishi, N., Oiso, N., Kawara, S., & Date, A. (2008). Evaluation of anti‐wrinkle effects of a novel cosmetic containing niacinamide. The Journal of Dermatology, 35(10), 637-642.
  8. Wang, Y., Wang, M., Xiao, X. S., Huo, J., & Zhang, W. D. (2013). The anti-wrinkle efficacy of Argireline. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 15(4), 237-241.
  9. Mortazavi, S. M., & Moghimi, H. R. (2022). Skin permeability, a dismissed necessity for anti‐wrinkle peptide performance. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 44(2), 232-248.
  10. Kafi, R., Kwak, H. S. R., Schumacher, W. E., Cho, S., Hanft, V. N., Hamilton, T. A., ... & Kang, S. (2007). Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol). Archives of dermatology, 143(5), 606-612.
  11. Kafi, R., Kwak, H. S. R., Schumacher, W. E., Cho, S., Hanft, V. N., Hamilton, T. A., ... & Kang, S. (2007). Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol). Archives of dermatology, 143(5), 606-612.
  12. Hughes, M. C. B., Williams, G. M., Baker, P., & Green, A. C. (2013). Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 158(11), 781-790.
  13. Iannacone, M. R., Hughes, M. C. B., & Green, A. C. (2014). Effects of sunscreen on skin cancer and photoaging. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine, 30(2-3), 55-61.
  14. McCullough, J. L., & Kelly, K. M. (2006). Prevention and treatment of skin aging. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1067(1), 323-331.
  15. Pedic, L., Pondeljak, N., & Situm, M. (2020). Recent information on photoaging mechanisms and the preventive role of topical sunscreen products. Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica, 29(4), 201-208.

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